Thanksgiving? The time of year to gather ‘round the table with family and stuff our faces with (let’s be honest) a lackluster spread of food while we ignore the origins of the holiday and are morally obligated to express our feelings of thankfulness for our loved ones.
Some of our loved ones might include the roster and/or coaching staff of the basketball organization based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. So it’s time again to express our feelings of love and gratitude towards those men who throw a sphere into a circle in South Philadelphia. If you want even more good vibes than what’s below, check out last years edition of Thank the Process!
But let’s dive into the Sixers centric question: what are you thankful for?
Zainab Javed: @zrjaved
There’s so much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving season.
When I bow my head to say grace, I thank the good Lord for the Snack that is Brett Brown. My forlorn heart aches for the return of his silver beard, but I count every blessing I can — for my one, true Bostralian love has survived the mobs clamoring for his dismissal with their pitchforks and torches. I’m grateful for the friends I’ve made on this journey, whether it’s SixersAdam, who gives me life advice despite being ten years younger than me, or the fellas at the Rights To Ricky Sanchez who let me pour my stupid soul into designing for them.
But if you hold me at gunpoint and force me to pinpoint the one thing that has brought me the most joy imaginable, it has to be James Michael Scott and the #MikeScottHive.
I’m not going to lie, I never thought I would be out here sending Mike Scott a PDF copy of adoption papers to sign less than nine months after Googling his name to figure out who the f*** the third wheel of the Tobi-Bobi trade was. But here we are, and this chapter of our lives has been incredible.
The #MikeScottHive is everything to me. From 10-15 people tweeting HIVE after every big shot to three tailgates and hundreds of members, we’ve come a long way. This is bigger than basketball. It’s about the friends we’ve made, the relationships we’ve formed, and the community we’ve built. Hell, we went from the first tailgate in May where we were drenched and kicked out of the parking lot — only to keep the party going 50 feet away — to last Saturday’s, where Red Bull gave us a freaking DJ truck. Folks came in from all over. We raised $5,500+ for two different charities. And the best part about all of this is how everyone wants to be a part of this. People donating their time, money, and supplies to help put on great events. It’s all just a positive experience, and I’m so lucky to be a part of it.
(Picture: Aaron Talasnik)
(Pictures: Colin Kerrigan)
And then there’s Mike himself. He’s a real-life Disney prince and an actual angel from heaven. From the moment he got into Enes Kanter’s face to defend Ben, he carved his place into our hearts. Somehow, this guy manages to become more likable each day. Here’s a person who surprised all of his fans at the Hive after-party, and took a picture with each and every single person who wanted one. He truly appreciates the love we’ve shown him and gives every ounce of himself to the team, to the fans, and to the community. He’s our cult hero. I’m so grateful that he’s ours.
We’ve built something beautiful around emoji tattoos, jack no ice, and tailgates. Thanks for being a part of this.
Matt Hopkins: @PanasonicDX4500
The Sixers. Our Sixers. The tallest of tall boys in the NBA. This is the team we dreamed of and waited for. Joel talks and wrecks shit in equal measures, Ben Simmons has that perfect level of smug and confidence to give your sports radio calling uncle heart palpitations, Tobi is getting paid and sometimes even earning it. Matisse is stealing the rock, Mike Scott is stealing drinks, Brett Brown is stealing hearts. This is the team everyone wants to see and talk about. So, of course, I’m gonna run us back to the time of Casper Ware and Henry Sims.
There aren’t a lot of ways that the Sixers and I are alike, what with one of us being a billion dollar sports franchise and the other being a 27 year old who’s spent the last month banking on not running across any cops willing to go through the effort of pulling him over for a burnt out headlight. The duality of man, etc. But one thing we both have in common is that we spent the mid-2010s going through some really dark, troubled waters where at times it could seem hard to believe the light would be there at the end of the tunnel. For the team, that meant setting a record for consecutive losses, and then breaking that record themselves a year later. For me, it meant some late nights contemplating some things that no one should contemplate. Truly, two sides of the same coin.
You’d think such an abysmally terrible basketball team would be the last thing a sports fan in such a dark place should turn to, but the Sixers were different. They sucked, to be sure, but they still exuded optimism. There was a purpose, and a plan, and, most importantly, a tomorrow. There was no guarantee about it; there never really is for anything. But the team believed, and the crazed cultists who made up the fans believed (s/o to Lucy the Octopus), and when I watched that team, I believed too. I felt that the day was going to come, and I’d have to be there to see it.
Elton Brand would never agree to it, but it’s the little things that keep us going. When I couldn’t find a reason to get out of bed within myself, I found other places to draw that strength from. And against all odds, one of those places was an NBA team that was paying real, American dollars to Thomas Robinson and Furkan Aldemir to play basketball; life is as mysterious as it is beautiful.
Years later, that team is stacked with talent and widely considered one of the favorites to win the title. And I’m still here watching them, with friends I never thought I’d have and a life I didn’t think I could hope for. When things seem darkest, sometimes you just need to trust that if you keep believing in yourself and what you’re working towards, it’ll be worth it in the end.
Someone should really come up with a phrase for that.
As a perfectly potty trained second grader sitting in Mrs. Smith’s classroom at Walter Miller Elementary School in Levittown PA, I remember looking down at the folders my mom had picked up during the ‘back to school’ sale the week before with a sense of disgust. On the front of the first one was Jerry Stackhouse, fresh off his rookie season. On the second one, first overall pick Allen Iverson. I didn’t know much about basketball at the time, but I knew these two guys were not worthy of replacing my power rangers and teenage mutant ninja turtles heroes on my school stationery. I mean, they couldn’t even morph, and I’m almost positive that neither of these guys have any formal training in the martial arts.
Flash forward 18 years later, I’m sitting in a bar called The Spigot on the border of Hartford and West Hartford, Connecticut. Adam Silver’s unfortunate looking snake-face pollutes the screens of the dozen or so televisions in the room. His forked tongue darts between his paper-thin reptilian lips for a second as he prepares to speak
I look down into my $3 beer (cash only), disappointed yet again. Who the hell is this kid? He’s got a bad back? He’s totally gonna suck compared to Andrew Wiggins. Wish we had Maple Jordan. He’s going to be as good as Michael Jordan, except Canadian, so like... more polite! Another generational player gone, and we’re stuck with some gigantic injured guy. I can’t believe we suffered through Andrew Bynum for Andrew Bynum 2: Cameroonian Boogaloo.
I guess what I’m saying is, I am thankful for being the wrongest idiot on the planet about every major decision the team has ever made and every great player they’ve drafted in my lifetime. I am thankful that at every juncture when the team made a choice that I thought was bad, it was Actually Good. I am also thankful for Jimmy Butler, and I think the team should have found a way to keep him. Go Sixers.
Kathleen Hayn: @kathleenhayn
This Thanksgiving, I know I am not alone when I say what I’m most thankful for when it comes to the Sixers is our rookie, Matisse Thybulle. Though our time with Matisse has been brief, he’s already proved himself to not only to the Sixers organization, but to the entire league as a stand-out defender. His presence on the team has already had an impact and his style of play has the speed and intensity we all crave. Does it have to be finessed a bit? Sure, but he’s 22; he’s got time. Brett’s said that Matisse is easy to coach. You can in his face during the games, whenever a mistake is made, he takes it in, acknowledges what happened, and seems to start to build from it right away. Again, we’re in the early days with this kid and he’s going to be a blast to watch.
But let’s get to why I and many others are thankful for Matisse outside of the game. The guy’s energy is unreal and pretty much radiates off of him. His smile is contagious. He’s constantly setting himself up for hilarious social media posts with how he acts during the pregame shoot arounds. His photography skills are incredible. He brings Monopoly to games. (Sidebar: as much as I love this, I need an explanation. Monopoly takes forever to play and the game has been brought to the locker room multiple times. When they have to stop, do they take pictures of the board and keep records of the then resume play before the next game? I want answers.) He’s funny, positive, and everything we could want in a rookie.
But he also understands being a part of this organization is more than a game – something he demonstrated when he recently went to visit a seven-year-old fan who had just been diagnosed with leukemia. It wasn’t a Sixers trip; it was at the request of the child’s mother and Matisse jumped at the chance, especially since it hits very close to home. When asked about the visit, he downplayed his efforts and shared he wanted to keep the conversation between him and the young fan. You can’t teach that kind of character. And to have it at 22? That’s not common.
So this year, I’m proud to say I’m thankful for Matisse. Thankful for the contributions he’s bringing to Philadelphia, on and off the court. Thankful we have the opportunity to watch his game grow. And last but not least, thankful to the Celtics for giving him to us (and also, Al).
Erica Boland: @TheEricaB
This year, I’m thankful for EB for putting together a very tall, VERY beautiful roster that has room to grow (figuratively, of course) together. I’m excited to see this group realize its potential, especially after how close we came last year to winning it all. I’ve had a very zen approach to following the Sixers since I first really started getting into them during the Process Era, but seeing this team together and imagining what they’re capable of is draining my patience and making me one of those “This is our year!! This team is it!” fans.
I’m thankful for Matisse Thybulle for easing any feelings of doubt for losing a certain crop-top-wearing rental by being an absolute defensive beast rookie. And those dimples. Have you seen those dimples? Highly recommend looking at the dimples. Although there are games where he’s on the quieter side, I’m grateful for the ones where Thybulle has multiple blocks and steals, poised to become the next RoCo and beyond.
I’m thankful for all of our players that turned down bigger contracts in the off-season in favor of staying in Philly, especially Mike Scott, obviously. I’m thankful for the opportunity the Sixers gave me to physically hand him a shirt I made and then seeing him wear it on his body when he could’ve just been like “Ok, thanks for the ringer tee. Beat it, nerd.” Because that’s really all I am: a tiny nerd that loves a bunch of tall kings. All of which I’m eternally grateful for.
Dan Sommer: @dansbadtweets
I am incredibly thankful for Jimmy Butler. Not for all that he did for us to get eliminated in round 2. I already got that exact same thing from the Sixers the previous season. That was like getting the exact same tie two years in a row.
Not for his back to back shot clock violations in Game 7 of that same semifinals. I’ll never forgive that. Ever. Even if there’s a fire and I needed to forgive him to be saved, I will slowly melt like that guy at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
I am thankful for Jimmy just being Jimmy. For being the exact person he’s always been. So much so that it grew to be exhausting for me. He never seemed to be in love with the idea of being here, a tale as old as time for top level players and my beloved city of Philadelphia.
He came, he gave adequate effort, half-heartedly for 4 months, performed well for 1 1/2 playoff series, and facilitated a trade for a player I’ve been smitten with for years in Josh Richardson. All of this sparking a rekindled, tantric relationship with my 2019-20 Bullyball Seventy Sixers - imperfections and all.
None of that happens without Jimmy. And I am very thankful. Happy retirement, buddy. Hope you liked the card!
Jack, Celtics Fan: @Jack_Michael17
Now you may be wondering, why did Jack Michael, noted Sixers antagonist, get asked to write about what he’s thankful for regarding the Philadelphia Seventy Sixers? I must be honest, I don’t really know how we got here either. Maybe because I am the owner/CEO/CFO of Liberty Ballers? Who is to say.
You may also be asking why I, noted yeller at Ben Simmons for not shooting, will be writing about Ben Simmons shooting. I promise, it will all make sense soon :)
Speaking of being thankful, Ben Simmons hit a three! Who would’ve thunk it huh! Look, as someone who has been known to be extremely mad on the web when Ben shoots anything outside of 5 feet of the basket, I am actually very pleased with this.
Ben Simmons take a three you coward— Jack (@Jack_Michael17) February 17, 2018
As some of you may know, it was I who first called Ben Simmons a coward, and the past 21 months have been terrible. A few months after the original tweet, the Celtics and 76ers engaged in a playoff series, and without getting into too much detail, it did not go well for the Sixers. However! Some months after that, I began to befriend some Sixers folks on twitter, and lo and behold, they’re all awesome! Now, you can see my predicament. I was pegged as a Sixers hater and antagonist, while also being friends with Sixers people. Tough life am I right! Every day people would tag me in tweets “ohh Jack Michael when is Ben gonna shoot a three you coward!” “Ohh Jack Ben’s a coward right!!!” etc etc etc. All the while I don’t want to retweet these because I don’t want my Sixers pals to see tweets being mean about their star player!!
I’m getting a bit off track here. This post is about being thankful, showing gratitude.
Ben Simmons. I thank YOU. You have freed me from my obligations as a Sixers antagonist. With a single shot more than 20 feet from the basket during an NBA game, you have freed both of us from our long, almost 2 year journey as adversaries on the internet and in real life. Because of you, I made new friends on the internet. And for this, I am eternally grateful.
Now this is getting a bit longer than I wanted it to be, and got a bit more off track than I would have liked. For those of you who stuck around to the end here, I also thank you! I’m sure Kevin Rice will have linked my twitter somewhere above or below this, but I’m going to link it again here, just to make sure all of you don’t miss the rants and diatribes I go on about Ben Simmons nearly every day.
Last but not least, thank you Kevin Rice for allowing my completely broken brain to have a platform to share my thoughts on the Philadelphia Seventy Sixers, a team in the same division as my favorite team!! And remember folks, cyberbullying NBA players works.
Last point: who cares if Ben Simmons shoots!
Ok ok last LAST thing but definitely not least: watch KNIVES OUT
So there ya have it, lots to be thankful for in this young Sixers season. Hope you all have a good holiday and make sure to be thankful everyday!